What's Up With That? ~ Katy Byrne

Katy Byrne Katy Byrne, MFT is a Psychotherapist in Sonoma, editor and animal lover. Her private practice specializes in: life transitions, couples communication, eating issues, moving forward, conflict resolution and the kitchen sink.


What’s love got to do with it?        

Posted on June 1, 2022 by Katy Byrne

It’s an unsettling time for the heart. We alternate from grief and fear to feeling grateful or grumpy. More killing of innocent beings, political divides, vaccine arguments, income and fire fears, abortion threats and personal loss alongside gladness for spring socializing – it’s all too much!  

I finished this column before the tragic murders in Texas turned me to a puddle, so with little time I managed this story of hope and a few comments.

Bob was reportedly a scotch collie mix, an average-looking puppy in every way, except for his bobbed tail. The pooch had joined Frank and Elizabeth Brazier for a cross-country drive from Silverton, Oregon, to Indiana, Frank’s home state. During a stop in Indiana, Bobbie was chased off by loose dogs, and after a week of searching and placing newspaper ads, the broken-hearted Braziers had to give up and drive home.

Six months to the day after he was lost in Indiana, a very thin Bobbie was spotted on a Silverton sidewalk, his coat matted, his paws raw from wear. Unbelievable as it seemed, the three-year-old dog walked nearly 2,800 miles to get back home.

Though weak and tired, Bobbie went berserk with joy when he was reunited with his family. The Braziers eventually heard from people along Bobbie’s homeward-bound route, places where he’d stopped long enough to recoup, and then he was gone again. These stories verified that Bobbie had done the impossible.

All innocent life needs our protection. “The voiceless ones” depend on our support too. Animals aren’t always as lucky as this. But, they too, “individuals of another species” are born wanting to survive and thrive, like we do. Stay aware, don’t teach kids to harm life. The accused mass shooter who carried out the deadly attack at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, allegedly committed animal abuse and displayed videos of the cruelty to users on social media (ABC News.) The truth is still unfolding. But, we do know, from research done at The Link Coalition, that if an animal is neglected, there is a high correlation that human beings in that home are also being abused or neglected. 

Remember all innocent beings who depend on us. In the heatwaves animals can’t tolerate the scalding cement or closed quarters. Prepare for their evacuations. Slow down on the road, they can pop out from behind trees. 

Do what you can. Sometimes it just takes a minute. Some possible reading: Jonathon Foer’s Eating Animals is useful for learning what these sentient beings go through before we devour them and how their carcasses land in our stomachs, sometimes causing disease. Remember that beloved Eagles are found dead after eating lead bullets from hunting guns and stay educated about how to care more for life. 

Donate to The Animal Legal Defense Fund in Cotati, we need new laws desperately. Or, volunteer with Pets Lifeline, get on the email list for In Defense of Animals in Marin (IDA), or give to Compassion Without Borders, in Sonoma County or another. Just saying…. let’s care. 

Katy Byrne, MA, LMFT has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Sonoma and the Bay Area for 35 years. She’s written two books: The Courage to Speak Up and The Power of Being HeardConversationswithkaty.com. 707.548.8982. 



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